It was just an ordinary shoe, another sneaker, in just another barren lot. But no shoe is ordinary on its own. Individual shoes make up a pair, from kids’ shoes to men’s and women’s. Even the shoes dangling from phone lines are tied together, forever bonded. The exception is the solitary shoes on display inside of shoe stores, but they’re only there to encourage shoppers to buy a pair. And even the displays have a match somewhere.
What could lead this single shoe to end up in a forlorn landscape, lonely and shivering despite its generous ankle padding? It seems obvious that it has been abandoned, and if shoes have the capacity to reach conclusions, this one came to the same result. Such a sad, lonely shoe. Where is its match? All shoes are created with a match. But there is none in sight for this one. It sits weeping in the drizzling rain, hoping for someone to pick it up and try it on for size. Maybe they will have another one like me, the shoe hoped silently.
Suddenly, a figure can be seen, emerging from the mist. It’s a man. He’s hobbling forward slowly, unsteadily. Will he see this shoe? Hope upon hope, silent prayers offered. And behold! The man alters his bumpy course slightly and bends down to examine the shoe more closely. He is grizzled, with an unkempt beard and an extra large jacket. He smells like stale wine. And he’s only wearing one shoe. Slowly, he reaches out shaky fingers, dirty with grime. He grasps the shoe, holding it up to inspect it. Suddenly he feels a sharp jerk, like he’s been hooked behind the navel. The whole world starts spinning. It feels to the man like he’s been sucked into a vacuum cleaner. Then he’s slammed onto his feet, and he falls, reeling. The shoe has fallen from his hand.
He looks around. This isn’t Pennsylvania. Everything is green and mountainous. He can see brightly colored tents in the distance. Someone is running up to him. He rubs his eyes; he’s had a lot of wine. It seems like the man approaching is wearing a black robe or cloak. The cloaked man says, “Oh dear, not another one.”
“What in carnation is going–” But the man is unable to finish his sentence. The cloaked man, now brandishing a short stick, has started to say something that isn’t English. There’s a green flash, and the man can’t remember anything. Another robed man runs up. “Another one? Oh, I’ll deal with him. You go on.” They both turn to leave, when the abandoned shoe is remembered. “Put it in the box with the other Portkeys.” The shoe is tossed unceremoniously in a box with a dozen other old shoes, no longer lonely.